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Delivery time on Agilent cal kits / Funny message from eBay seller

Question asked by drkirkby on Jan 23, 2013
Latest reply on Jan 28, 2013 by dhamilton
Sorry this is not technical, but is is amuzing, and perhaps something Agilent might take note of. 

I've thought more than once of buying an Agilent 85032F "N" Calibration Kit, DC to 9 GHz new from Agilent. But the Agilent delivery time of "Usually arrives in 5 weeks" has rather put me off. It has made me think of looking for a used 85052B (18 GHz) kit. There is no way I can afford to buy a new 85052B, whereas I can afford to buy a new 85032F. 

I've got no need for an obsolete 6 GHz HP 85033D 3.5mm cal kit, as I have the current  9 GHz Agilent 85033E 3.5mm cal kit.  But today I happen to run across an obsolete HP 85033D cal kit on eBay. The foam is said to be breaking up, so I was a little amuzed to see the price was $3110

This struck me as bizzare given the replacement for this obsolete model is the 85033E, which has a list price of $3349. It is hard to believe that anyone would buy a used obsolete cal kit with the foam breaking up for  $3110, when they could buy a brand new model, with a higher frequency range, calibration certificate, warrenty etc for just $239 more.  In fact, the Agilent dealer Microlease would probably sell me the new kit for less than the cost of the old obsolete cal kit on eBay. 

I could not resist the temptation to tell the seller his auction was overpriced. He answer was interesting, and perhaps something Agilent shoud take note of: 

Message from me

*+Dear axiomtest,+*

*+Are you aware this obsolete 6 GHz kit is replaced by the Agilent 85033E kit, which is rated to 9 GHz? The price of that kit new from Agilent is $3,349!. Do you seriously believe anyone in their right mind would want to save $239 and buy an obsolete used kit, rather than a brand new one, with calibration certificate, warranty etc. Do you ever manage to sell cal kits at such prices?+*

*+If by chance you happen to have an 85054B, 18 GHz N cal kit, let me know, but I'd expect to save more than a couple of hundred dollars off the new price!+*


This is the sellers reply to me. 

*+Dear drkirkby,+*

*+Thanks for your comments Dave. We are aware of this. On the surface, it would seem strange. However, we've sold three of the 'D' kits at $2995 over the last 2.5 months (not on eBay). We have one left. Although obsolete, they are fairly rare and there is still reasonable demand. There are folks out there that either cannot wait around for Agilent to deliver, do not require a cal cert, do not need anything beyond 6 GHz, prefer to save a few hundred dollars, or some combination of the above. We do not argue with the market. We just follow it.+*

*+Unfortunately, we do not have any 85054B kits in stock at this time. Thanks again.+*


I don't know how practical it is for Agilent to reduce the lead time on some of their equipment, but this, and my own concerns about the deliver time on the 85032F, would suggest the lead times puts buyers off.